News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Bishop
For Immediate Release: February 10, 2017
Sen. Bishop Applauds Re-Start of University Avenue Rehabilitation & Widening Project in Fairbanks
JUNEAU – Sen. Click Bishop (R-Fairbanks) today said the decision by the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) to restart a project to widen and rehabilitate University Avenue using federal highway funds to replace $19.6 million in state funds is welcome news.
“The University Avenue area is one of the most heavily-traveled corridors in Fairbanks, and while we can understand why Governor Walker suspended the project when budgets tightened, I am very happy to see DOT&PF restart it with federal dollars,” Sen. Bishop said.
Sen. Bishop noted the improvements scheduled to be made in the project will relieve congestion and improve safety in the most heavily-used transportation corridor in West Fairbanks.
“There were more than 950 accidents in this area from 2003-2012, an average of 95 every year, and I am sure the average since then is about the same,” Sen. Bishop said. "Fixing this problem area is way past due. This project, when completed, will go a long way towards reducing the number of accidents and making this corridor safer for the traveling public.”
In a press release on Thursday, DOT&PF noted that the project was funded in 2008 with general obligation bonds that were eventually converted to state general funds in 2010. Gov. Walker suspended the project last June in response to the state’s budget deficit. DOT&PF will use federal money to prioritize this project in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), the state’s fiscally constrained three-year list of planned highway projects. Work on the project will resume with the federal government covering over 90 percent of project costs.
For more information, contact John Manly in Senator Bishop’s office at (907) 465-2327. ###